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Sunday, 14 September 2014

King David

The youngest of 8 sons, David (C1040-970BC), his early occupation was that of tending his father's sheep on the uplands of Judah. He frequently spent his time, when watching sheep, with his shepherd's musical instruments (flute and harp).

David’s skill on the harp bought him to the notice of King Saul who suffered from a strange melancholy dejection. He played his harp before the king so skillfully that Saul was greatly cheered, and began to entertain great affection for the young shepherd.

David became a hero of the people when he defeated the giant Goliath. When King Saul gave him his tunic, a coat of armour and a bronze helmet to fight Goliath, David felt uncomfortable so he resorted to his own shepherd's attire.

Having graduated to being armour bearer to King Saul, then falling out with him, David was forced to flee to the desert and become leader of an outlaw band. In the desert having not eaten for three days he devoured a cake of pressed figs and two raisin cakes possibly flavored with a feathery herb called coriander which had a lemony citrus flavour.

David was anointed king of all Israel in 993BC following death of King Saul. As a shepherd he was immensely knowledgeable about animals. The experience of looking after his father's sheep taught him a great deal. In later years it helped David in pasturing the flock his heavenly father gave him - The Israelites.

David conquered the Jebusite settlement of Zion, which became the nucleus of his capital city, Jerusalem. After seven years as King he moved his capital from Hebron to Jerusalem in deference to the ten northern Kings who opposed his reign.

David was a man after God's heart, who kept God's command all of his life apart from during an adulterous relationship with Bathsheba, the beautiful wife of one of his officers Uriah, whom he had killed. He trusted in God, but as his comfort zone increased his reliance on God decreased.

David's life's ambition was to build a temple but God did not permit this, although he was promised an eternal dynasty in Jerusalem.

David is traditionally reckoned on having written 73 of the 150 Psalms in the Bible. These songs and prayers stand out as great poetry. They spotlight the heights and depths of human experience. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He lays me down in pastures green” he wrote in Psalm 23.

A prophet as well, David prophezied in Psalm 22 the future Messiah’s' death including v18 "They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing."

David placed great importance on the cultivation of olive trees; He even had guards watching over the olive groves and warehouses, ensuring the safety of the trees and their precious oil.

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